Misdemeanor assault has three different classifications. The most common type of assault involves touching another person. If it causes physical injury and was done intentionally, that makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor. When someone goes up and punches someone, that is an intentional assault, and that would be a Class 1 misdemeanor, which is the highest misdemeanor. If you do it recklessly, meaning you are just swinging your arms around carelessly and you cause injury to somebody else, it’s going to fall under a Class 2 misdemeanor. Moreover, you don’t even have to cause any sort of physical injury to have an assault charge leveled against you: just by placing someone in reasonable apprehension or fear that they’re in imminent danger of physical injury can be classified as an assault, which is considered a Class 2 misdemeanor as well.
The last classification of assault in Arizona is by knowingly touching another person, either with the intent to injure and assault or provoke such a person. A simple example of this is poking a sibling, who says, “Quit poking me.” You’re not injuring them; you are just trying to provoke them. This can also be labeled as an assault, which will go under a Class 3 misdemeanor and is the lowest level of misdemeanor that Arizona has.
What Are The Penalties For Misdemeanor Assault In Arizona?
Generally speaking, you are probably looking at a fine and some probation time. The bigger concern is whether the charge will have a domestic violence designation. If the assault was committed on a relative, someone that you’re in a relationship with or just somebody that resides at your house like a roommate, then those situations will fall under domestic violence. This designation can have harsher penalties, such as completing domestic violence treatment, which can last 26 to 52 weeks, and you lose your right to possess firearms.
Penalties also depend upon your history. If you have a longstanding history of assaults, then you might have to do some jail time. The maximum sentence for an assault is six months in jail and a $2,500 fine. Rarely are penalties as extensive as that, unless there is some sort of egregious circumstance.
Does A Victim Need To Be Physically Injured In Order For Assault Charges To Take Effect?
No. The only assault that requires an injury is called an A1. That’s a Class 1 misdemeanor, but that’s the only one that needs to have an actual injury.
What Is Aggravated Assault?
Aggravated assault is any one of those misdemeanor assaults, but has an additional aggravating factor. There are about 11 different aggravating factors, with four of them as the most common. For example, an aggravated assault constitutes a serious physical or life-threatening injury to an individual. That is the most common one that we see. Any time there is a weapon or dangerous instrument involved, that’s another aggravating factor. If a person’s airway is restricted that would constitute an aggravated assault. These are the most common aggravated assaults we see; along with the next aggravating circumstance.
Another common aggravated assault is on a police officer. If you start resisting arrest and an officer has to use additional force to subdue you, and that officer is placed in apprehension of physical injury, an aggravated assault charge can be tacked onto the resisting arrest charges. The aggravating factor is just simply that a police officer was involved.
What Factors Can Enhance A Simple Assault To An Aggravated Assault?
Some other factors that can increase a simple assault to an aggravated assault are if you commit the assault while the other person is physically restrained, bound or substantially impaired. These types of aggravated assaults are not ones that we see very often, but the possibility could occur in a bar when somebody is heavily intoxicated. If, during the assault, the victim’s ability to resist was subdued, so much so because of alcohol, that could be an aggravating factor. If you enter someone else’s home with the intent to commit an assault, that can be an aggravating factor. Also if you commit an assault on someone who is younger than 15, that is an aggravated assault.
If the assault is against a prosecutor, that’s an aggravated assault; likewise, if it’s against a firefighter or a judge, it can be an aggravated assault. If you commit an assault against a teacher in the classroom or a doctor in the office, this is an aggravated assault. Also, if someone is in prison or subject to custody in some sort of detention and commits the assault knowing that the victim is acting in their official capacity as an employee, it would be charged under the officer statute. The last aggravating factor is if a person uses a deadly weapon or threatens to use a simulated deadly weapon.
For more information on Misdemeanor Assault In Arizona, a free case evaluation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (480) 400-1355 today.